One of the aims of the Scottish Living Wage Campaign is to ensure that policy and legislation tackles in-work poverty where possible.
In recent years we have focussed our energies on the new policy reforms for public procurement. We welcomed the announcement by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP in April 2014 that the Scottish Government is to amend the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Bill to require local authorities to include the Living Wage as part of the evaluation process in procurement processes.
The announcement came during a debate initiated by Labour MSP James Kelly on the living wage and procurement. Ms Sturgeon stated that two amendments will be made to the Procurement Reform Bill at stage three.
The first will “put an explicit reference to the living wage on the face of the Bill and make it clear that one of the factors that authorities will require to evaluate, where it is relevant to the performance of the contract, is a contractor's approach to pay and the living wage.”
The second will “require public authorities to set out, in their procurement strategies, what their policy is in relation to ensuring that the companies they contract with pay the living wage.”
Taken together, these amendments should strengthen the Procurement Reform Bill, making it clearer for public authorities and companies on the expectation to pay the living wage.
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance and co-chair of the Scottish Living Wage Campaign, said at the time:
“We have long argued that there is a need to produce clear guidance on how the living wage can be included in procurement processes. These amendments should provide much needed clarity.
We hope that this move will ensure that many more workers in Scotland will receive the living wage, and that organisations benefiting from public money will need to do more to ensure they tackle low pay.”
The Scottish Living Wage Campaign Steering Group is involved in drafting the guidance for Local Authorities. We will keep you updated with this element our policy work.
We have recently submitted our response to the "Public Procurement Consultation on Changes to the Public Procurement Rules in Scotland". You can download our response below.
If you would like any more information on our policy work around the Living Wage, please contact Carla McCormack, Policy & Parliamentary Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org